English Standard Version
for behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone.
King James Bible
For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;
American Standard Version
For, lo, the winter is past; The rain is over and gone;
For winter is now past, the rain is over and gone.
English Revised Version
For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;
Webster's Bible Translation
For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.
Song of Solomon 2:11 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
5 Support me with grape-cakes,
Refresh me with apples:
For I am sick with love.
She makes use of the intensive form as one in a high degree in need of the reanimating of her almost sinking life: סמּך is the intens. of סמך, to prop up, support, or, as here, to under-prop, uphold; and ripeed, the intens. of רפד (R. רף), to raise up from beneath (vid., at Proverbs 7:16), to furnish firm ground and support. The apple is the Greek attribute of Aphrodite, and is the symbol of love; but here it is only a means of refreshing; and if thoughts of love are connected with the apple-tree (Sol 2:3; Sol 8:5), that is explained from Shulamith's rural home. Bttcher understands quinces; Epstein, citrons; but these must needs have been more closely denoted, as at Proverbs 25:11, by some addition to the expression. אשׁישׁות (from אשׁשׁ, to establish, make firm) are (cf. Isaiah 16:7; Hosea 3:1) grapes pressed together like cakes; different from צמּוּקים, dried grapes (cf. דּבלה), fig-cakes (Arab. dabbûle, a mass pressed together), and πλακοῦς, placenta, from the pressed-out form. A cake is among the gifts (2 Samuel 6:19) which David distributed to the people on the occasion of the bringing up of the ark; date-cakes, e.g., at the monastery at Sinai, are to the present day gifts for the refreshment of travellers. If Shulamith's cry was to be understood literally, one might, with Noack, doubt the correctness of the text; for "love-sickness, even in the age of passion and sentimentality, was not to be cured with roses and apples." But (1) sentimentality, i.e., susceptibility, does not belong merely to the Romantic, but also to Antiquity, especially in the Orient, as e.g., is shown by the symptoms of sympathy with which the prophets were affected when uttering their threatenings of judgment; let one read such outbreaks of sorrow as Isaiah 21:3, which, if one is disposed to scorn, may be derided as hysterical fits. Moreover, the Indian, Persian, and Arabic erotic (vid., e.g., the Romance Siret 'Antar) is as sentimental as the German has at any time been. (2) The subject of the passage here is not the curing of love-sickness, but bodily refreshment: the cry of Shulamith, that she may be made capable of bearing the deep agitation of her physical life, which is the consequence, not of her love-sickness, but of her love-happiness. (3) The cry is not addressed (although this is grammatically possible, since סמּכוּני is, according to rule, equals סמּכנה אתי) to the daughters of Jerusalem, who would in that case have been named, but to some other person; and this points to its being taken not in a literal sense. (4) It presupposes that one came to the help of Shulamith, sick and reduced to weakness, with grapes and apple-scent to revive her fainting spirit. The call of Shulamith thus means: hasten to me with that which will revive and refresh me, for I am sick with love. This love-sickness has also been experienced in the spiritual sphere. St. Ephrem was once so overcome by such a joy that he cried out: "Lord, withdraw Thine hand a little, for my heart is too weak to receive so great joy." And J. R. Hedinger († 1704) was on his deathbed overpowered with such a stream of heavenly delight that he cried: "Oh, how good is the Lord! Oh, how sweet is Thy love, my Jesus! Oh, what a sweetness! I am not worthy of it, my Lord! Let me alone; let me alone!" As the spiritual joy of love, so may also the spiritual longing of love consume the body (cf. Job 19:27; Psalm 63:2; Psalm 84:3); there have been men who have actually sunk under a longing desire after the Lord and eternity. It is the state of love-ecstasy in which Shulamith calls for refreshment, because she is afraid of sinking. The contrast between her, the poor and unworthy, and the king, who appears to her as an ideal of beauty and majesty, who raises her up to himself, was such as to threaten her life. Unlooked for, extraordinary fortune, has already killed many. Fear, producing lameness and even death, is a phenomenon common in the Orient.
(Note: "Ro‛b (רעב, thus in Damascus), or ra‛b (thus in the Hauran and among the Beduins), is a state of the soul which with us is found only in a lower degree, but which among the Arabians is psychologically noteworthy. The wahm, i.e., the idea of the greatness and irresistibility of a danger or a misfortune, overpowers the Arabian; all power of body and of soul suddenly so departs from him, that he falls down helpless and defenceless. Thus, on the 8th July 1860, in a few hours, about 6000 Christian men were put to death in Damascus, without one lifting his hand in defence, or uttering one word of supplication. That the ro‛b kills in Arabia, European and native physicians have assured me; and I myself can confirm the fact. Since it frequently produces a stiffening of the limbs, with chronic lameness, every kind of paralysis is called ro‛b, and every paralytic mar‛ûb. It is treated medically by applying the 'terror-cup' (tâset er-ro‛b), covered over with sentences engraved on it, and hung round with twenty bells; and since, among the Arabians, the influence of the psychical on the physical is stronger and more immediate than with us, the sympathetic cure may have there sometimes positive results." - Wetstein.)
If Pharaoh's daughter, if the Queen of Sheba, finds herself in the presence of Solomon, the feeling of social equality prevents all alarm. But Shulamith is dazzled by the splendour, and disconcerted; and it happens to her in type as it happened to the seer of Patmos, who, in presence of the ascended Lord, fell at His feet as one dead, Revelation 1:17. If beauty is combined with dignity, it has always, for gentle and not perverted natures, something that awakens veneration and tremor; but if the power of love be superadded, then it has, as a consequence, that combination of awe and inward delight, the psychological appearance of which Sappho, in the four strophes which begin with "Φαίνεταί μοι κῆνος ἴσος θεοῖσιν ἔμμεν ὡνήρ," has described in a manner so true to nature. We may thus, without carrying back modern sentimentality into antiquity, suppose that Shulamith sank down in a paroxysm caused by the rivalry between the words of love and of praise, and thus thanking him, - for Solomon supports and bears her up, - she exclaims:
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Song of Solomon 2:10
My beloved speaks and says to me: "Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away,
Song of Solomon 2:12
The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.
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